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Peace training for media

Larry Strange, executive director of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, speaks during a workshop on the role of journalists in peace building in Phnom Penh yesterday.

About 50 newspaper directors and press association leaders yesterday attended a workshop hosted by the Cambodia Development Resource Institute with the aim of enhancing  peace-building, conflict prevention skills and accuracy in the media sector.

The workshop, held at  the Phnom Penh Hotel and entitled The Role of Press in Peace-Building, was a follow-up to workshops held by CDRI over the past three years and addressed the media’s role in contributing to national and international peace-building.

CDRI Executive Director Larry Strange said in the workshop that peace-building enhanced the ability of newspaper reporters to write professionally and to reduce conflict.

“We want ... the media to help society reduce conflict and have a culture of peace and non-violence,” said Strange.

Cambodia National Television reporter Thoun Kunthy said during the workshop that it was not a reporter’s job to reduce conflict, but if they found proper and unbiased information it could help.

“The media can reduce doubts for both sides and a good newspaper shows information highlighting the real dispute,” said Thoun Kunthy.

Strange said in an opening address that CDRI hoped to assess the impact of previous workshops and identify future directions for peace journalism training.

“We see an important role for a responsible media, committed to accurate, balanced and fair reporting, to play a major role in mitigating tensions and violence,” he said.

CDRI training program coordinator Kim Setana said that between 2008 and 2010 nearly 200 participants had benefited from peace-building training.



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